Despite being one of the most natural acts that can occur between a mother and child, a certain amount of stigma surrounds breastfeeding. Mothers inherently believe they can only breastfeed behind closed doors, away from prying eyes, afraid of how others may react.
Society's unfounded prejudice against breastfeeding is not only ridiculous, it is also quite harmful to the day-to-day life of a mother and their child. What happens when a newborn becomes hungry far away from home? Shouldn't a mother feel comfortable feeding their child just about anywhere?
Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Breastfeeding is still creating controversy on Facebook, a digital space where users can simply close a window or click away from a photo, so just think how negatively people can react when they see a mother breastfeeding at the store, park, or any other public place.
Well, the Montreal borough of Verdun is taking a stand and officially endorsing the practice of breastfeeding in next to all public spaces. Go Verdun.
Passed during Verdun's last council meeting, the new borough initiative is the very first of its kind (we've got a couple this week) in Montreal, and will encourage breastfeeding outside of the home by officially encouraging mothers to breastfeed in all public buildings (libraries, parks, pools etc.)
The borough-wide initiative is a joint effort between the leaders of Verdun and Nourri-Source Montréal, an organization devoted to aiding mothers through breastfeeding support projects, such as a phone support line and volunteer sponsorship.
Nourri-Source has already been working in Verdun and created the first "Route du lait" within the borough, a resource that outlines which business-owners in the borough support breastfeeding in public and allow mothers to do so in their respective establishments, of which there are about 26.
But the Route du lait was limited to privately-owned buildings, whereas the newly passed initiative is focused on public spaces.
Verdun and Nourri-Source's leaders believe that this new project will have a "domino effect" in the borough, and hopefully all of Montreal. By exposing citizens to breastfeeding, the act will be normalized and prejudices will be diminished, and ideally vanish completely.
As outlined by Metro, here are the places in which breastfeeding will now be encouraged in Verdun:
- Centre communautaire Marcel-Giroux
- Centre culturel de Verdun
- Verdun's outdoor pools
- Verdun Auditorium
- Borough Hall
- La Station - Action Prévention Verdun
- Parc Arthur-Therrien